If you're struggling to hit your fitness goals then consider creating a workout plan to keep you on track.

YMCA Workouts - Fitness Plan

6 Steps to Creating the Perfect Workout Plan at the Y

Building workout plans can be tedious, but without a plan, you risk not reaching your goals. You can take proven steps to make a plan that increases your chance of reaching your goal, whether it be to build mass, lose weight or tone up.

How to Make a Workout Plan in 6 Easy Steps

1. Choose Your Ideal Exercises

You need to know a variety of push and pull exercises to build your own plan. Different exercises target different muscles within each muscle group and add new stressors to the muscle fibers.

Bodybuilding.com has a great muscle finder that can help you find exercises for each body part.

Or, consider working with a certified personal trainer. Personal trainers can also help you set goals and provide exercises specifically designed to help you meet your goals. Learn more here.

2. Pick Cardio That You’ll Actually Do

Cardio is the bane of most workout plans because cardio is often not fun. The only way that most people continue to do cardio is if it’s an activity that they enjoy. Cardio can be completed on an exercise machine, like a treadmill, elliptical, or rowing machine. It can also be accomplished in a group fitness class. Group fitness classes provide a social network and emotional support as well as cardio exercise. Try boxing fitness, spin classes or yoga. If you enjoy swimming, join a facility that has pools, like a YMCA. There, you can lap swim or take a water fit class, or mix it up to keep it interesting.

Find a form of cardio you like, or choose to mix it up to keep your routine interesting. For anyone serious about tracking cardio, consider using a MyZone belt

3. Figure Out Your Weight and Reps

What weights and reps will you do? If you’re just starting out, you’ll want to perform 3 exercises per body part. If you want to build strength, low reps and high weights is best. A lot of people adhere to 5 reps and 5 sets per exercise. A personal trainer or fitness trainer can help you with weight training.

Rep ranges of 8 to 10 at moderate weight will help build endurance and also add muscle mass.

You should try and find your one-rep max and base your reps off of that, depending on your goals. Typically, the following is true:

90% for sets of 5

80% to 75% for sets of 8 to 10

4. Track Your Progress

Is your workout plan actually working? This is going to be a continual question, and you’ll only be able to answer if you track your progress. Tracking programs and apps can be helpful, but an old-fashioned notebook or journal is ideal.

Between sets you can jot down your progress and see where you’re stagnating and make changes accordingly.

5. Create Your Schedule

You’ve done the hard part and know how to make a workout plan. Now, it’s time to create your schedule. The schedule you create has to be achievable, so don’t assume you’ll be in the gym seven days a week from the start.

Ideally, you’ll go to the gym at least 3 to 4 times per week for 45 minutes to an hour.

Adjust your schedule as you advance and add in more exercises as you advance from a novice’s fitness level to an intermediate or advanced level of fitness.

6. Revisit Your Plan if You’re Not Reaching Your Goals

Plans may work for years, but there will come a day when you reach a plateau or are no longer reaching your goals. One of the most important steps in how to make a workout plan is revisiting the plan in the future.

Be willing to adapt your plan as often as your muscles adapt to the resistance that they’re under.

Sign up for a membership at Countryside YMCA and get access to personalized workout plans!